Big opportunity for those who deliver great service

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When last did you experience good customer service?

It’s hard to remember, isn’t it?

It’s strange, very strange, that in today’s networked world with many online tools, customer service is so pathetic.

Let me give you an idea of what I have experienced in recent months – and I won’t bore you with the details.

It took me three months to get one of the big four banks to stop my home insurance with them. Can you believe it? I had to be patient and endure because the new insurance I got cost one third of the price of what the bank was charging me. By the way, over a 12-year period, the bank’s insurance company allowed me only once to claim from the insurance policy.

I know this is another financial services example but I made some enquiries about medical insurance and after listening to a so-called insurance broker rattling on about various policy options, all I got was several attachments (amounting to about 100 pages) emailed to me. I was still confused even when I had scanned through the documents sent. Is this customer service?

I can go on but the point is service is often so bad that there must be an opportunity for smart people to provide better service. If you are small business owner or an independent consultant or service provider, the field is wide open.

Service is, of course, in the eye of the beholder, the person who experiences the service. Potential customers might be looking for a low-level quick fix solution but when it comes to complex products they would want a service representative to explain to them the various options clearly and in a simple but not simplistic way to help them make a good decision.

Being warm and friendly, is not enough. You’ve got to offer value, which means meeting the customer’s needs for a particular product or service.

But just as important as having knowledgeable, well-trained service people, you also need to have a feeling that the person you are dealing with is someone you can trust. But often this is not the case because you are shoved onto a call centre where staff posses the bare minimum training or an online contact form with a reply that makes you feel stupid.

Do better than this and opportunity awaits.

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